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Bills get their workhorse back in LeSean McCoy -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Perry Ellis will miss regular season finale -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Kansas rallies, wins Big 12 outright -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Wildcats have shot at tourney? -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Lehman, Hobson collect MIAA honors -3/4/2015, 1:44 PM

Two headed to nationals for Tiger track -3/4/2015, 11:51 AM

Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Shields shines in Royals' series win at Oakland

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Shields shines in Royals' series win at Oakland

Published on -8/4/2014, 9:56 AM

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By Andy McCullough

McClatchy-Tribune

For two hours, 16 minutes and 23 outs, James Shields silenced this riotous multisport relic. The fans at O.co Coliseum had not witnessed the Oakland Athletics lose a series here since May. With two outs in the eighth inning on Sunday, the flag-waving, drum-thumping masses here sensed their last, best chance to avoid that fate.

The second solo home run of the day by Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick had halved the Royals lead. A subsequent single delivered the tying run to the plate in the form of Alberto Callapso. Shields allowed the tumult to last four pitches, long enough for chants to echo through East Bay, before grounding Callaspo out with a cutter.

The volume plummeted, never rising that high again in a 4-2 Royals victory, muted by a tenacious effort from the leader of Kansas City's rotation, who logged eight innings for just the second time this season. Shields (10-6, 3.43 ERA) walked off the mound conversing with replacement first baseman Billy Butler. He showed no joy until catcher Salvador Perez lumbered over, clapping his hands, embracing his teammate and reminding of the moment's gravity: The Royals were about to claim a series victory over the best team in baseball.

"As far as I'm concerned, we can match up with anyone," Shields said. "Any team. Any starting rotation. I don't care who it is."

For three days here, the Royals (57-53) displayed their merits as they pulled within 1.5 games of the Toronto Blue Jays for the American League's second wild card. Since a three-game sweep in Boston to start the second half, Kansas City has won four consecutive series. Save for one horrific sequence on Saturday, the club benefited from bursts of timely hitting, played tidy defense and blanked their opponents.

The Royals tussled with baseball's most prolific offense for 27 innings this weekend. Oakland scored in just three of the innings. The only Athletic Shields couldn't handle was Reddick, who bombed a pair of homers. The Royals lineup clapped 14 hits, and strung together a four-run, fifth-inning barrage.

"It was a long three days," said Butler, who recorded three hits of Oakland starter Scott Kazmir. "It was tough. It was tough."

On Sunday, Shields did not miss many bats. He only struck out two. But he missed plenty of barrels. Shields has recovered from an early-summer stumble and again resembled his reliable self. In his last seven starts, he has posted a 1.99 ERA, and has regained his ability to complete innings in efficient fashion.

Athletics manager Bob Melvin stacked his lineup with left-handed swingers to combat Shields. He responded with a slew of changeups to keep them off balance, flinging 24 out of 102 pitches. The changeup can be Shields' best offering, and its ability to disarm lefties "kind of plays into his advantage," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

"He did a great job of getting ahead in the count, and getting decision during the at-bat, early," Yost said. "But his stuff was good. He was commanding everything."

For the third day in a row, the Royals starter opened the day with three perfect innings. On Friday, Jeremy Guthrie rode his command through six scoreless innings. On Saturday, Jason Vargas imploded amid a fifth-inning defensive meltdown.

Shields veered toward Guthrie's path. He stayed perfect through the fifth. He buzzed through the Oakland lineup, inducing pop-ups and grounders. Heading into the sixth, he allowed a ball out of the infield just three times.

"A lot of teams have been super patient with me," Shields said. "This team was a free-hacking team today. Which is not really their game, but they've got a bunch of good hitters over there who were being aggressive. I was able to execute my pitches early in the count."

The spell broke with the second pitch of the sixth. It was a curveball, low in the zone but over the middle of the plate, and Reddick powered it over the high wall in right-center field.

By then, of course, the Royals had already broken out. A rookie sparked their scoring. Through four innings, Kazmir gave up five hits. Except all were singles, and a Royal did not reach second base. In the first at-bat of the fifth, starting in his first big-league game at third base, Christian Colon cracked a double into right.

"If you look back at the series, each team had that one inning to put them over," Colon said, and his hit allowed his teammates to start rolling.

An unlikely event extended the rally. Alcides Escobar accepted a walk for only the second time since July 1. A deluge followed: Nori Aoki slapped a fastball down the third-base line for an RBI single. Omar Infante smacked a slider into left to plate two runners with a double. Salvador Perez capped the four-run burst with another line drive into left.

"You stay patient and wait it out," Yost said. "And hope that when you get a runner in scoring position, you take advantage of it. In the fifth inning, we did numerous times."

Oakland eventually cleaved the four-run deficit in half. Reddick did the damage. He pulverized a first-pitch fastball with two outs in the eighth. That awoke the crowd. When Jed Lowrie punched a single past Colon at third, the fans emerged in full throat.

Their momentum would not last. Shields finished them off, and handed the baseball over to Greg Holland. He cut down the Athletics in 10 pitches, and added his 31st save of the season to his ledger.

Inside the Royals clubhouse, the players packed up and prepared to fly to various destinations. They have Monday off. When they reconvene on Tuesday in Phoenix, they can remind themselves what they accomplished this weekend.

"I believe in our guys," Shields said. "I think we've got some really good young talent in our starting rotation, as well as some veterans. I think we're going to compete with anybody."

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